Life is all about finding your way back to the basics; with food, it’s no different.
Tatsu put together a Facebook event called Tatsu Ramen Friends & Family Nosh that serves a free bowl of ramen to anyone who gets on the guest list (by selecting “going” on the event page). After discovering today was the closing of the event, my friend, Jane and I jumped on this opportunity for ramen on the house—how RAD is that, right? Result: full-up bellies, big smiles and bright mindsets for our next ambition in life thanks to an inspirational chat with Tatsu Ramen owner, Ryu Isobe.
Ryu, owner and president of Tatsu Ramen, opened his shop which debut just last week in one of Sawtelle’s strip mall (the one with Volcano Tea House on Sawtelle and Mississippi), to craft ramen with a soul—what Ryu envisions as really good ramen.
CONCEPT: “I never found a place in LA that served really good ramen, so I decided to open my own shop.” – basic explanation for a basic menu: ramen with or without broth + just a few fresh ingredients.
Ryu, who’s originally from Tokyo, said he’s never seen this type of operation implemented in a restaurant in the States, so why not? I say, that’s one fabulous idea! (It’s almost a given; iPads are the new registers!)
People love interaction and customization, and Tatsu has just the right number of choices—not too many so you become indecisive, but enough to insure that people get what they want.
Choose between Tonkotsu (pork-based broth) or Naked (broth-less, meatless, with sauce) Ramen. Then, tailor your garlic desires, spiciness, egg no egg, and amount of green onion. Add-ons include items such as: soft egg, green onions, seaweed, sweet corn and pork cutlets. Select drinks, pay and place your order. What a fun way to check-in to a sit-down!
Photographs that ring good memories for the ramen maker.
SPACE: In the same way the ramen isn’t over-dressed, the shop isn’t either. In fact, the space is furnished quite resourcefully: dark paint with white and red accents, wall graphics, wood flooring, ceiling panels and furniture, and thick rope that cascades the walls—just enough visuals to make it look interesting.
I opted for Naked Ramen: “lots of garlic”, “barely spicy”, “lots of green onions”, tofu, soft egg, extra shredded seaweed and sweet corn.
This is definitely a chance to embrace the savory side! My Naked bowl was generously seasoned, super peppery, but not overly-doused in sauce. Lots of green onion paired nicely with the sauce and noodles, and that egg…still tender on the inside, spilling just a bit of yolk seals the goodness of a bowl with soul.
It was especially inspiring to converse with Ryu about how Tatsu Ramen came together. Thanks, again, for sharing your story. I’m so motivated by people who really just paint that vision with flying colors!
We’ll definitely be back for seconds when it’s open to the public starting May 23 and you should, too!
Itadakimasu! (Bon Apetit!)